The US is reeling from another tragedy this week after a deranged madman walked into a Tennessee Waffle House and began firing rounds from an AR-15 which he was not allowed to have. Gun control measures that were in place—and actually led to the confiscation of Travis Reinking's guns—did not stop this killer from carrying out the sick thoughts in his head.
Gun control was in place and it failed. What's more, less than 48 hours after Reinking murdered four people in a Waffle House, another mentally ill man with a seeming thirst for blood went on a killing rampage in Canada, who has some of the strictest gun laws in the world.
In Canada there is no legal right to possess guns. Canadian civilians aren't allowed to possess automatic weapons, handguns with a barrel shorter than 10.5 cm or any modified handgun, rifle or shotgun. Most semi-automatic assault weapons are also banned. But that didn't stop Alek Minassian, 25, from killing 10 people and injuring 15 others.
Minassian's desire to take lives was so strong that he didn't need a gun to murder. He simply rented a Ryder van and went to it. Consequently, Reinking, who had the notoriously loathed AR-15 rifle didn't kill half as many people as Minassian who had no gun at all.
He did, however, attempt to pretend to have one as he begged a police officer to kill him.
What these two incidents prove is that crazy people who want to kill will do so with or without a gun and with or without permission from the state to have said gun.
According to a 2015 study, even if all guns were removed from America, in a ten year period, 355 people still would've been murdered in mass killings.
From 2006 to 2015, 140 people were murdered by arsonists in mass fires, 104 were stabbed in mass stabbings, and 92 people were beaten to death in mass killings. To reiterate, these are deaths in which four or more people were killed.
People sufficiently enraged to commit such crimes may also be motivated to find other ways, criminologist James Alan Fox of Northeastern University points out.
What's more, every time there is a mass shooting in America, the anti-gun crowd is quick to take to the pulpits and begin spouting off incorrect information on how American gun ownership has made the United States deadlier than European countries. But this is simply not true.
After the tragic shooting in 2015 in which a gunman killed nine people in a Charleston, NC church, then-President Barack Obama took to the media to state that "we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries."
Just days later, Sen Harry Reid backed him up, claiming — falsely — that "the United States is the only advanced country where this kind of mass violence occurs."
After the tragic shooting in Parkland, FL in February, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut echoed this sentiment when he said, "This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America."
However, like Reid and Obama, Murphy is wrong.
While America is certainly up on the list of gun violence, it's not even in the top ten. According to a study by the Crime Prevention and Research Center — which was attacked by Snopes, who failed to prove it wrong — from the years 2009 to 2015, the US failed to enter the top ten list for the most mass shootings.
So which country has the largest death rate from public mass shootings?
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Norway does. With an outlier mass shooting death rate of 1.888 per million, mostly due to the tragic shooting carried out by Anders Brevik in 2011, Norway is at the top of the list. No. 2 is Serbia, at just 0.381, followed by France at 0.347, Macedonia at 0.337, and Albania at 0.206. Slovakia, Finland, Belgium, and Czech Republic all follow. Then comes the U.S., at No. 11, with a death rate of 0.089.
Also, according to the study, there were 27% more casualties from 2009 to 2015 per mass shooting incident in the European Union than in the U.S.
"There were 16 cases where at least 15 people were killed," the study said. "Out of those cases, four were in the United States, two in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom."
"But the U.S. has a population four times greater than Germany's and five times the U.K.'s, so on a per-capita basis the U.S. ranks low in comparison — actually, those two countries would have had a frequency of attacks 1.96 (Germany) and 2.46 (UK) times higher."
The statistics debate and information war can go on forever — and it usually does — which is why actual conversation on what is really behind mass killings is suppressed or not even brought up.
The solution to preventing mass killings lies not in banning the tools used to carry them out. This is akin to putting a band aid on massive hemorrhage. Instead of focusing on the symptoms and tools used, there are a few people who are actually looking at the cause.
Stephen Paddock, Omar Mateen, Gavin Long, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, James Holmes, Nikolas Cruz, and more likely than not, Travis Reinking, all have one thing in common other than the mass murders they carried out. They were all reportedly taking prescription drugs which alter their state of mind and carry a host of negative side effects ranging from aggression and suicide to homicidal ideation.
It is important to point out that mass murder can also be carried out by those indoctrinated by religion or statism, but for the purpose of this piece, we will focus on what seems to be turning non-indoctrinated people into vicious murderers.
Suicide, birth defects, heart problems, hostility, violence, aggression, hallucinations, self-harm, delusional thinking, homicidal ideation, and death are just a few of the side effects caused by the medication taken by the monsters named above, some of which are known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), or antidepressants.
There have been 150 studies in 17 countries on antidepressant-induced side effects. There have been 134 drug regulatory agency warnings from 11 countries and the EU warning about the dangerous side effects of antidepressants.
Despite this deadly laundry list of potential reactions to these medications, their use has skyrocketed by 400% since 1988. Coincidentally, as antidepressant use went up, so have mass shootings.
The website SSRIstories.org has been documenting the link between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and violence. On the website is a collection of over 6,000 stories that have appeared in local media (newspapers, TV, scientific journals) in which prescription drugs were mentioned and in which the drugs may be linked to a variety of adverse outcomes including most of the mass shootings which have taken place on US soil.
As the Citizens Commission on Human Rights notes, before the late nineteen-eighties, mass shootings and acts of senseless violence were relatively unheard of. Prozac, the most well known SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant, was not yet on the market. When Prozac did arrive, it was marketed as a panacea for depression which resulted in huge profits for its manufacturer Eli Lilly. Of course other drug companies had to create their own cash cow and followed suit by marketing their own SSRI antidepressants.
Subsequently, mass shootings and other violent incidents started to be reported. More often than not, the common denominator was that the shooters were on an antidepressant, or withdrawing from one. This is not about an isolated incident or two but numerous shootings.
The issue of psychotropic medication playing a role in mass shootings is not some conspiracy theory. It is very real and the drug manufacturers list these potentially deadly side effects on the very inserts of every one of these drugs. But the mainstream media and the government continue to ignore or suppress this information and steer the conversation to guns.
However, as this most recent tragedy in Canada proves, psychotic killers who want to cause harm will find a way to cause harm. How many more mass shootings and killings will have to take place before Americans wake up to this reality?